Friday, 8 July 2016

Europe Trip Diary #8 29th April

So I leave once again! I have left my humble abode I have spent the last almost 2 weeks in.  It was a sad departure as I left all the horses and the friends I have made in my short time here.  I was gifted a collage of photos durring my time there and some chocolate from my good friend Federica.  I was also gifted a jacket from my host family with their logo on which was so kind of them and will come in handy in New Zealand's rain.

  I genuinely adored my stay in Sardinia and had such a fantastic time.  I loved being back with the horses and I was privileged to ride Getano a dressage horse  almost everyday.  He's gorgeous and huge.  I looked like a dot on him but it was so nice to ride a horse with such fancy movements.  I called him bambino cavallo which means baby horse in Italian as he is only young and loved to nibble on everything and was incredibly looky with everything.

My time in Sardinia consisted of to much pizza for one to consume in two weeks, every flavour of gelato possible, crazy Italian drivers, bambino cavallo and lots of love and laughter.  I will miss my Italian family and the food but I am definitely aiming to return and stay for longer.  They have told me I have to learn Italian and come back this time next year and stay for much longer.  I am unfortunate in that I miss Sainte Visio a festival and parade that is held on the 1st May every year as I leave to early but I was able to see some of the streets decorated with colourful streamers and decorations.  I am told by a very well travelled man that Sainte Visio is the best festival in the world and that it is a must see so I look forward to seeing that next year hopefully.

For those of you who are wondering how I came upon this opportunity it is by the workaway website which was recommended to me by a friend of mine.  I scouted out a horse related stay in a beautiful European destination and came across Boscovivo which I knew was going to be exactly what I wanted to do in the two weeks I had to play with and it did not disappoint.  I will do a blog post on my experience with work away and inform all those who would like to know about how it works and my experience shortly so look out for that if you are interested.

A beautiful wee spot I found on my walk to the beach

The streets of Pula decorated for Sainte Visio

Federicka, Camilla, Getano and I in the arena

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Europe Trip Diary #6 16th April 2016

Hallo, hello, bonjourno!

I write to you all whilst aboard my flight from Geneva to Olbia, Sardinia.  I left my humble abode which has embraced my presence for the last couple my months at the crack of dawn this morning.  I myself am surviving on about 10 minutes of sleep in the last 24 hours as I partied a little to hard last night, lets be honest here.  Morzine life is definitely not so easy on the liver.   It was a very sad departure as I feel as though not only has Morzine taught me to grow up and live on my own but I also experienced so many new adventures and met some amazing people in my few short months there.

I can now say I am a much more seasoned skier after my time in Morzine and have grown to love the mountains and being attached to a set of skis everyday.  I do have to admit however there were definitely times where I struggled and ended up crying at the top of a mountain but I managed to pull myself through the scary slopes and always felt accomplished and proud of myself for conquering some pretty scary situations.  I found something very peaceful and tranquil when I skied through the trees on my own being very secluded from the rest of the world.

As I descend as we speak to my new destination I have a lot of hope for what might to come and what else I can discover and explore.

I am swapping my winter wonderland out for the Italian sun for a couple weeks and I look forward to being in a bit of warmth and hopefully getting some beach time in.  I know the next six weeks is going to be a massive whirlwind and super busy so I apologise if I don't write to all very often in the near future.

Chairlift selfie

My apartment building!

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Friday, 10 June 2016

Europe Trip Diary #7 21/4/16

Wow! It has been a journey!

Sardinias railway systems are certainly difficult and stressfull and with a language barrier it was about 10 times more difficult than it could have been.  I finally made it here in Cagliari after a transfer, a plane ride, lots of waiting and two trains and I have finally arrived thanks to the generosity of those at the train station that helped me.

It's so beautiful already! I love the old rustic look of Italian architecture.  A lot of yellow and orange houses scattered throughout the green grass.  

I'm definitely not accustomed to the heat aswell! Stress mixed with me wearing clothes to cope with the cold in Geneva and the fact I haven't felt anything anywhere near warm temperatures in a very long time calls for a bit of a sweaty mess!

I have spent the last few days cleaning stables, feeding the horses, sweeping, and washing and treating the ponies for lice as well as some riding.  It is quite relaxing here in the afternoons however in the morning we work hard.  I have so far been to the markets and to the beach and tonight we are going to town to eat pizza and gelato. 

My time here has gone very fast already.  I speak almost no Italian and the people here don't speak an awful lot of English so there is a small amount of confusion at times however we have managed. The food here is also amazing! Another girl who works here is an exceptional cook and makes beautiful healthy meals for lunch and dinner. They eat a lot of salad and seafood which suits me well.  My host family is so lovely and have welcomed me with open arms and have been highly interested in the different way of life I come from.  It's a very different lifestyle and culture here and I have loved it.

Beautiful beaches here!

The indoor arena!

Beautiful stables!

Sunset on my first night here!

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Sunday, 27 March 2016

Europe Trip Diary Entry #5 4th April, 2016

Hello everyone! How are we all? I hope you had a fantastic Easter.  

I understand Easter was over a week ago but I thought I would recall my Easter for those of you who care.  I began my Easter morning in one of the most beautiful churches I've ever been in.  Being in church on that Sunday morning brought a very melancholy feeling upon me.  I sat in church all alone when I am used to spending every Easter in church with my family at home.  Being in church made me miss my family more than ever however I realised that although I didn't understand the language (it was a French mass) nor did I know anyone I felt welcome there.  I felt like we were all a family of people , accepting of each other despite us being a large variety of cultures and language we were all there together for the same reason.  It felt very homely and made my Easter away from home a lot easier.

I spent that next part of my day doing my food shopping and eating chocolate before going out for dinner with a group of friends and having a few drinks at the bar.  

I now have just under two weeks left here and I am getting as much skiing in as possible.  This means exploring new runs and freaking out at the top of one of the longest runs on my own! Whoops! I am slowly improving and gaining more speed day by day!

Here is a picture at the top of one of my runs this morning!

I have decided recently that I am in fact returning to New Zealand at the end of May and I will go home to spend a season in Queenstown to work and live.  After my season there I am hoping to come back to the UK to live and work for a couple years until I decide to settle down and have a career.  
I have come to a realisation whilst being here that I need to stop stressing over my future so much.  There are so many older people here doing seasons and travelling, living a very carefree life without settling down and it has taught me that settling down at a young age isint as necessary as I previously assumed.  It's taught me to be young and carefree and to focus on travelling and living my life the way I want to.  

So I think that is all I have to say for this week.  Not to much of an update but I think I may do either a favourites post of things I'm loving or a post on how to survive learning to ski! So look out for those coming your way at a slightly later date.  

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Europe Trip Diary Entry #4 22nd, March 2016

Hello everyone!

I found a pretty little spot by Lac de Motriond on a walk the other week!

Long time no see I know! I apologise for my lack of posts I have been very busy.  
I thought I would inform you that I am in fact still alive and well! I am still enjoying my time in Morzine however I haven't achieved much mountain time unfortunately due to myself getting ill again (suprise suprise I know!) I feel like I recover from one illness and onto another!  I am hoping to hit the slopes hard in my last segment of my stay here in the next couple of weeks or so and even get a few lessons and conquere some more challenging runs and improve my confidence.

We had a massive downpour of snow a couple of weeks ago however since then it hasent snowed at all and the weather has really warmed up resulting in pretty average snow right at the minute.  All of us here are just crossing our skis for another downpour, however it is slightly doubtful as we are now heading into spring.  

We are now entering the last month or so of the season now which is really odd as the time seems to have gone so quickly while being out here.  I still can't wrap my head around the fact that I'm leaving in just over 3 weeks to Sardinia and it's only a month and 6 days until my big trip starts.  It's a melancholy feeling when your time in a place like this starts beginning to come to a close.  Although I would love to stay I'm also so excited to be off onto new and exciting pastures and to see more of this beautiful chunk of the world.  The end nearing also makes me ponder and ponder more on what I would like to do after my trip.  Whether to stay in Europe or to go home.  Whether to go home and work, study or go to Queenstown for a season.  There are so many options that all seem so good but I'm just keeping my options open and going with the flow and seeing where the next couple months take me.

I would like to also give a little shoutout to two of my best friends! Shannon who turned 18 on the 22nd of March and Grace who turned 19 on the 21st.  It's weird being away for your friends big moments in life.  I haven't not seen Shannon on or at least around her birthday since she probably turned 7 and now she's turned the big 18 and I'm 18,569Km away from her.  These are the moments when I thank the lord for modern technology and the ability to wish her a happy birthday and her receive it 3 seconds later on the other side of the world.  However I do have to say time difference is a bitch! 

Anyway! That is my little update for this week! I hope you enjoyed it and I will try my hardest to make another one this time next week for you all.  

I watched an ice hockey game for the first time last week! Intense game!

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Wednesday, 9 March 2016


Hey guys! I made my first YouTube video so go check it out!

It's a vlog on my channel of my overnight trip to London! 

I hope you enjoy my new vlog and remember to subscribe and follow me on social media to keep up to date!

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Europe Trip Diary entry #3

Hello everyone! 

My life here has slowed down slightly after the excitement of new places and new beginnings!

Tamsin and I have been super busy and unfortunately haven't been able to spend much time up the mountain.  I have also managed to catch a horrible cold so have spent my days off over the weekend recouperating which includes Netflix, hot chocolates and naps.  Naps seem to be a very regular thing amongst the seasonaires here.  Seasonaires are the people who stay and work here for the winter season.

I have, since I last spoke to you managed to have a few nights out and enjoy the nightlife out here which is really good.  I have also met a few really lovely people here and made some friends which makes this part of the world slightly less daunting and more like home.

I have been away for a month today! That seems really crazy as I feel like it's gone so quickly.  For those of you who didn't think I could survive out of the family home! I've made it this far haven't I! Tamsin and I have have maintained a tidy apartment, cooked almost every single one of our dinners at home and done boring adult stuff like cleaning and doing a load of washing.  I'm pretty chuffed with how we've coped so far.  

I also booked my flights to Sardinia, an island of the coast of Italy.  In Sardinia I will be doing a working stay for a riding centre which has trekking and a riding school.  I'm looking forward to be working with horses again and exploring the beautiful Sardinian beaches.  

Here is the view from my skylight in my bedroom.

The beach near my working stay I will be going to in mid April

I hope you enjoyed my little update.  I apologise that it is not the most exciting one, I admit.  But the news of my working stay placement is exciting.  This will give me lots of things to write about.

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Europe Trip Diary Entry #2 13th Feb

I've arrived in Morzine! 

It's lovely here and I have enjoyed my first week.  It's a nice, quant little town and I have enjoyed the low key lifestyle and friendly faces.  Tamsin and I have settled into our little flat and have done a few food shops and even managed to go skiing a couple times.  I am just learning to ski but am already feeling relatively confident on the green and the occasional blue runs.

It is definitely quite a few degrees cooler here than back home although I have packed so that I am well equipped for the harsh French winter (apart from snow boots, which I have since purchased.) It's quite refreshing to wake up and walk outside to the cold crisp air and it's incredibly beautiful to be walking in a winter wonderland with snow all around.  

Here are some photos of my adventures around the town.

So I hope you enjoyed my little update! I apologise for last weeks post being so late!  I thought I had posted it but clearly not! Anyway, see you next week with another post!

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Europe Trip Diary Entry #1

Hello everyone! I have arrived in Europe after a very unpleasant 36 hour flight!

The trip so far has been great. We landed at about 6:30 am (Uk time).  I am staying at my friend Tamsins grandparents house which we arrived at around 7:30am.  Once we arrived I introduced myself to her lovely grandparents and got settled into the room I am now writing to you from.

We spent the day unpacking and sorting through things.  We went for a short walk around the local Bramhall park for a breath of fresh air.  We fought our exhaustion and jet lag and managed to stay up until around 7:00pm when we both headed straight to bed to crash.

Bramall Hall

When we woke up the morning after it was around 8:00am and we headed down for some breakfast.  I tried some British cereal which I loved.  We then headed out for the day and took a big red double decker bus to Stockport to do some sneaky shopping in Primark, Claire's and Boots before picking up a sim card at 3.  We then caught another bus to Tamsins other grandmother for a nice family dinner with some delicious Lasagne.  

The next morning we headed to London on the train which departed Stockport at 10:40am.  Tamsin and I had a great gossip session on the journey there while taking in the English country side for the first time.  We arrived in London around midday and made our way on the London Underground to kings cross station to meet Nathan, Tamsins boyfriend.  All three of us ventured through London to visit Green park first as we made our way through to Buckingham palace.  After taking a few snaps at the gates we decided to walk down The Mall and see all of the royals and important political figures mansions.  We then veered near the Thames to visit the London eye and Big Ben.  We also walked past 10 Downing Street where the British prime minister lives and on to Trafalger square.  

Buckingham Palace

The guards on horseback

Trafalgar Square 

Trafalger square at sunset

Big Ben 

Kings Cross train station

After that we walked around to Picadilly circus to see the billboards and to visit Hamleys toy store.  We visited every inch of the five floor store and also queued up to build a bear in which I chose to build Toothless from How To Train a Dragon.  We then headed towards the Hard Rock Cafe where we got lost for several minutes and ended up walking around aimlessly momentarily until we stumbled across it.  The Hard Rock Cafe was far to busy for our liking and as we had been walking for such a long time and were absolutely knackered we headed to the hotel instead.

We slept deeply in our cosy hotel room located right in kings cross, an ideal location for tourists.  We grabbed a maccas breakfast before heading to the London bridge to visit the bridge and the Tower of London.  As Nathan was leaving early and wasn't to fussed on the tower bridge tour we skipped it as the lines were to long.  We then took the tube to Madame Tausauds to visit the wax figures.  We took plenty of selfies with the likes of  Beyonce, Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Zoe Sugg and Aflie Deyys.  This was very cool as we also went on a rollercoaster cab ride and watched a 4D movie.  After this we headed to wish Nathan goodbye as he was to leave back to Hull at 3:00pm.  Tamsin and I with a few spare hours to kill decided to do the London bridge tour.  The top of the London bridge provided us of some great photo opportunities due to its fantastic views of London.  

Me and Audrey Hepburn

Princess Dianna 

Me with Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyys

View from the London bridge

London bridge lit up

Me at the top of the London bridge

In the evening we took the tube back to London, Eusten train station in order to board our train back to Mahcester.

And now the following day after I sit here writing my blog posts and packing my bags in preparation for my departure to Morzine on Tuesday.

Well I hope you enjoyed this recap of my first few days on my European trip.  Stay tuned for more as I will hopefully be updating you on my travels about a couple times a week.  

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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Saturday, 30 January 2016

My South Island trip part two!

Hello again! Here is part two of my trip around the South Island with my family earlier this year.  Make sure you check out part one before reading this.

After we spent time exploring around Queenstown we headed off towards Fox Glacier. We arose early that morning as we had a long journey ahead of us.  Although I had a book in hand I felt the need to have my eyes glued to the view outside the car window the entire journey.  

We passed the beautifully clear, blue waters of the Kawarua river and witnessed some shot over jet boat rides and bungy jumps. We also saw the beautiful sights if Mount Aspiring National Park, Mount Cook National Park and Haast Past.   The area surrounding Mount Cook and through that part of the Southern Alps is called the glacier region due to its many glaciers.  Most famously is the Franz Joseph glacier and Fox Glacier.  We visited Fox Glaicer and stayed in the Fox Glacier Lodge which was incredibly welcoming and cosy.  

We walked to the Fox Glacier which was about an hour walk return for us (although we did have quite a few photo stops.)  We were slightly disappointed that we couldn't see a lot of the glacier from the top of the walk but still enjoyed the fresh air and the beautiful landscape surrounding us.

Me on the lookout down to Kawarua river and the shot over jets.

Shot over jets

Mount Aspiring

The glacier face

Fox Glacier

View near Haast past

Mum and I by Fox Glacier

Sunset in Fox Glacier

After staying the night in Fox Glaicer we headed towards Greymouth to catch a train from Greymouth to Christchurch.  We passed through glacier areas and saw some beautiful scenery on the way through.

View in Franz Jospeh

The train was around four hours long and we arrived in Christchurch late afternoon.  We headed towards our hotel to settle in and then made our way to have a bite to eat.  We stayed in the Christchurch city central which was to our suprise quite deserted.  There were many blank fields and abandoned buildings as the central city was hit the hardest during the earthquake. 

There were a lot of artwork painted on the walls of the abandoned buildings as an attempt to enliven the city up after the earthquake.  We spent two nights in Christchurch exploring the city before we flew home.  We managed to take a tram tour around the city and visit the botanical gardens, the Canterbury mueseum and the Christchurch cathedral. 

The Christchurch cathedral 

Artwork in Christchurch 

Tram we hopped on

Old Spanish street

The white chairs to commemorate those who passed in the quakes

The botanical gardens

So there is part two of my visit in The South Island.  I hope you enjoyed the series of posts I did on my trip.  I have now arrived in England and will be travelling to France in the next couple days.  I visited London yesterday and I still have my Europe travel bucketlist to post so stay tuned!

Love you all,
Till next time, 
Megan Cook.

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